Wikimedia Foundation/Communications/Sound Logo/Contest proposal/Community conversations

A proposal for the Wikimedia sound logo contest was shared with the Wikimedia movement for feedback and co-creation from May 23 to June 10, 2022. The proposal was based on existing visual logo practices in the movement with added new parameters for sound logo creation and audio production. Feedback from this community conversation will help the organizing team shape and launch a truly global contest for the sound of free knowledge. The contest launch is currently set for 13 September. The conversation continues and there are many ways for community members to be directly involved; from conceptualizing a sound logo, capturing and sharing sound, to participating in the screening team, the selection committee, and of course, the final vote. At any time, we’d love to hear from you.  

Wikimedia Sound Logo virtual meeting from Friday May 27, 2022

Call and answer


The proposal was shared on wiki in 9 languages and feedback was invited on the project’s talk page. There were also two dedicated virtual discussions, Friday May 27 @11:00 UTC (on Zoom, with live interpretation in 5 languages) and Thursday June 2 @18:00 UTC (on Jitsi, as a non-proprietary alternative to Zoom). These calls were divided into 3 parts: a brief introduction to sound logos in general; project information highlighting the need, the contest proposal, and the open questions; and a light introduction to audio mixing – unpacking the TED Talks sound logo and introducing Audacity, an open source tool. The team also presented the contest proposal at the SWAN monthly call on June 5. The corresponding presentation and the video recording from the first call can be accessed on Wikimedia Commons.



The main resource hub for the proposal and everything else sound logo related is on wiki. This is also where conversations were guided. The proposal announcement was shared on Diff with a condensed notice shared on the wikimedia-l email list and shorter notices and reminders on Wikimedia General on Telegram. Brief notices were also shared on Africa, ESEAP region, and Latin America channels on WhatsApp and Messenger. On wiki, every person who had signed up with interest on the sound logo page was notified first on their talk page and later via on-wiki email. A notice was also shared on Meta and the Commons village pump.

Open questions


All aspects of the contest proposal were open to community input. The sound logo project team further highlighted some open questions to communities for guidance – on wiki and at all virtual conversations. We anticipate that when the contest kicks off in September, there will be more questions and recommendations to consider.

Regarding the open questions, where there was support or no clear objection, the project team will move forward with preparations, keeping the community up to date.  

  • The contest will be on WordPress to increase the ease of submission and not to overburden the Commons community with out of scope submissions, possibly a surge of them. The voting, however, will be on Commons, which is also where the finalists will be posted.
  • With many affiliate and Foundation staff coming from the community and many of them still wearing multiple hats, there was no inclination to prevent submission from staff. And since the final selection committee will not have any staff on it, there should not be any conflicting priorities and if there are, these will be made apparent.
  • For outreach beyond the Wikimedia movement and to encourage submissions from regions where our movement is less familiar, promotional content will use Wikimedia as well as Wikipedia and Free Knowledge. Wide outreach within the movement and as well, beyond, especially among professional musicians is something we heard about a lot as a way to create a global contest.
  • Offering prizes in audiovisual contests is common practice in the movement, ranging from in-kind donations to online shopping gift certificates. For this contest, the project is proposing to award $2500 USD to the winner and a $5000 USD grant from the Foundation to a sound-related community project of the winner’s choosing.  

Open discussions


In addition to the open questions, we received great recommendations from community members and were asked relevant questions. This will quite likely continue as more community members learn about the project, start conceptualizing, and collaborate to produce and mix that amazing sound logo. The desire to more actively facilitate collaboration between community members and possibly with experienced music producers is strong. We look forward to the workshop at Wikimania as a way for community members to interact with MassiveMusic professionals and really roll up their sleeves afterwards with about a month to go before submission to create the sound of Wikimedia. We have also heard that while some Wikimedians are gifted at creating concepts, they may not be able to transfer that to a sound logo. On calls and on wiki, we have also received interest to partner up with others. Starting in August we will work with community liaisons to create momentum for the contest, to answer questions, and to encourage collaborations.

The conversation continues


The Wikimedia sound logo project team is grateful to community members that took the time to familiarize themselves with the contest, express interest, and join conversations on and off wiki. We encourage all Wikimedians to start conceptualizing and collaborating. If you’re thinking of a sound logo, we are sure another Wikimedian is also. If you have a concept or an idea, please share with others. The project team will also continue to provide updates as we get closer to the contest launch and in the meantime, hope to have more audio mixing workshops in addition to an event at Wikimania. The contest is scheduled to launch on 13 September, 2022 and we will need community members for the larger screening team doing the initial vetting on WordPress and later for the smaller selection committee where along with musicologists, the final 10 sound logos will be selected for the open vote. Let us know if you are interested in participating.

We invite you to watch the video recording of the first community conversation. It has already been cut into 3 segments providing a brief introduction to sound logos, presenting the contest proposal, and demonstrating Audacity, an open source audio mixing tool. What is your Wikimedia sound logo concept? How does it feel? We would love to hear from you.